The foldable phone wars are hotting up, with little-known Royole seemingly beating more established handset manufacturers like Samsung, Huawei and LG to the ‘first foldable phone’ crown with the newly revealed Royole FlexPai.
The FlexPai is probably the closest thing to a working ‘foldable phone’ we’ve seen to date, though as you can see from the video below, what’s just been unveiled is hardly a High Street-ready product. The design, foldable screen, and UI of the FlexPai are pretty rough, to put it kindly, so it’s best to think of the device as an advanced prototype of sorts.
Just announced in China, the FlexPai is available in three configurations – 6GB of RAM with 128GB of on-board storage, 8GB/256GB and 8GB/512GB – and while far from perfect, it does provide a tantalising glimpse of what the future could look like when devices like the Samsung Galaxy X start coming to market.
When folded out into tablet form, the FlexPai offers a 7.8-inch display, while its ‘handset’ mode sees it fold pretty much in half to 4 inches.
Perhaps most interestingly, the FlexPai is the first device we’ve seen to use a 7nm Qualcomm SoC. Only the forthcoming Snapdragon 8150 – which is the marketing name for what will likely end up in devices like the Galaxy S10 next year as the Snapdragon 855 – is a match for that, based on Qualcomm’s product development roadmap.
Elsewhere, the FlexPai runs a custom Android fork called Water OS and features a dual camera setup comprised of a 16-megapixel module and a 20-megapixel telephones lens.
As we mentioned, you can pre-order the developer versions of the FlexPai on Royole’s website, with the company saying it hopes to start sending out devices in “late December”. The FlexPai is priced at Chinese ¥8999-12,999, depending on which specs you opt for for, which works out at around £1000-£1500 before shipping costs and taxes, so owning a glimpse of the future isn’t exactly cheap.
What do you make the Royole FlexPai? Let us know on Twitter @TrustedReviews.